Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/26/13

Red 2: I remember, vaguely, that I sort of liked the first film in this franchise. I can really only remember bits and pieces, which I am not sure bodes well for the overall quality. But, I will definitely check this out at some point.

Jobs: Heard horrible things about this. Still, Steve Jobs was one of the most brilliant innovators in recent times and I look forward to seeing this. There was a tv movie awhile back called Pirates of Silicon Valley and I absolutely loved it. Hopefully this can be a bit like that.

Getaway: Selena Gomez is apparently trying to void her Disney image, much like every other Disney child star. She follows up her Spring Breakers performance with this one starring Ethan Hawk. Not expecting much, but its 90 minutes so I will try it out.

Grandmaster: Story about the man who trained Bruce Lee. It takes a lot to get me to watch foreign films, and this is not one of them.

Canyons: Watch this if you want to see Lindsey Lohan in the nude. Or, spare yourself and use your internet connection. I will be doing neither. Staying away.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Quick Shots 26

Title: Lincoln.

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris.

Brief Synopsis: Abraham Lincoln (Day-Lewis), during the Civil War, tries to push the Emancipation Proclamation through to free the slaves before the end of the war. He feared that it would be tossed out if the war had ended before its approval. 

Opinion: These biopics are always done pretty well, but with Day-Lewis in as Lincoln - he transforms into our 16th president. But, as good as he was in the role, the secondary characters were just as good. To me, Tommy Lee Jones and James Spader particularly stood out in a film with tons of well-known, great actors.


Title: Identity Thief.

Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, T.I., Gensis Rodriguez, John Cho, Morris Chestnut, Eric Stonestreet.

Brief Synopsis: Sandy Patterson (Bateman) becomes a victim of when someone steals his identity. A woman (McCarthy) takes his identity and soon Patterson is wanted in Florida for missing a court date and also apparently is wanted for buying drugs. Detective Reilly (Chestnut) obviously believes Patterson and gives him the opportunity to track down the thief to clear his name. 

Opinion: This wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I guess I don't really understand the fascination with McCarthy. She is ok, but I didn't fall in love with her in Bridesmaids. In fact, I recently came to the fruition that she is my least favorite part of her show, Mike & Molly. But, I like Bateman and McCarthy does have some comedy in her bones - and I actually did have some good laughs in this film. Much more than I thought I was going to.


Title: Pain & Gain.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Michael Rispoli.

Brief Synopsis: Daniel Lugo (Wahlberg) is a personal trainer and is hired by Sun Gym's John Mese (Corddry) to drum up more business - which he is able to do. Inspired by a motivational speaker, Johnny Wu (Jeong), Lugo recruits Adrian Doorbal (Mackie) and Paul Doyle (Johnson) to kidnap and ripoff Victor Kershaw (Shalhoub). 

Opinion: This has to be one of the craziest films I have seen in a really long time. And, it somehow worked - a little. I still can't believe how crazy and dumb these characters are. But, even though the characters didn't mean it, their stupidity made the film pretty darn funny - so outrageous it happened to make me laugh.


Title: 42.

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Lucas Black, Alan Tudk, T.R. Knight, John C. McGinley.

Brief Synopsis: Yet another biopic, this one on the first African-American Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson (Boseman). Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey (Ford) tries to break the color barrier in professional baseball by bringing Robinson on the team. The film follows everything that Robinson went through during that time - all of the racial bigotry he faced from fans, opponents and even his teammates. 

Opinion: I have heard some people didn't really enjoy this - but I really liked it. Most people, even non-sports fans, know the story of Robinson. But, even I didn't know everything that he had to go through. And, seeing this made me respect him even more.


Title: This is the End.

Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Emma Watson.

Brief Synopsis: Jay (Baruchel) arrives in LA to visit his friend Seth (Rogen). Baruchel is not really comfortable with a lot of Rogen's new friends, but begrudgingly accepts an invite to go to a housewarming party for James (Franco). While at the party, the end of the world occurs and most of the world is killed. However, Jay, Seth, James, Jonah (Hill), Danny (McBride) and Craig (Robinson) mange to stay alive and hold up in James' house hoping to ride out the apocalypse. 

Opinion: This was one of the 10 films I wanted to check out in the theater this summer, but it was one of only two (I believe) that I wasn't able to get out to see. That being said, I think the hype on this one ended up ruining the first watch for me - which means I definitely need to look in on it again. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it and thought it was very funny - but I thought it was going to be even funnier due to the response it was getting from everyone.


Title: Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Melanie Lynskey, Nina Dobrev.

Brief Synopsis: Charlie (Lerman) has some issues and he is starting his freshman year of high school. On his first day of school the only friend he makes is his English teacher, Mr. Anderson (Rudd), due to his love of books. Soon, though, he befriends two seniors at a football game, Sam (Watson) and Patrick (Miller). The rest of the film is really the three of them fitting in at high school, with their friends and those that are not their friends. We also get a lot more of Charlie's back story - one thing we know is he lost his best friend to suicide the year before - and we see flashbacks of the death of his Aunt Helen (Lynskey) when he was just seven years old, which has effected the way Charlie has grown up. 

Opinion: Honestly, I think Watson is going to be one of the greatest actresses of our generation when all is said and done. It's strange to say the young Harry Potter actress could do that seeing we have seen her grow up from such a young girl. So, I went into this really because of her. But, the entire film was outstanding. I really enjoyed it, and I thought Miller was also a great actor.


Title: Drive.

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Oscar Isaac.

Brief Synopsis: Driver (Gosling) gets odd jobs as a getaway driver for criminals, while also being a part-time stuntman and mechanic at Shannon's (Cranston) garage. Driver is, well, an outstanding driver - he gives the criminals a small window of time, and wants nothing to know about the actual crime. He just drives. Knowing how great he is as a driver, Shannon persuades mobster Bernie (Brooks) and Nino (Perlman) into purchasing a stock car for Driver to race. Driver, though, has befriended his neighbor Irene (Mulligan) and her son Benicio while her husband Standard (Isaac) is in jail. After his release, Standard is beat up because he owes money from protection in prison. So, Driver agrees to help him rob a pawn shop - and soon the shit hits the fan. 

Opinion: First off, Hendricks being in this film was almost a complete waste for her - but so cool that she did it. If you've seen it you'll understand. Pretty darn good movie. A lot of great action scenes and the acting is superb.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/19/13

We're the Millers: This one looked to be pretty hilarious. Sort of came out of nowhere from me - until I finally saw a trailer a few weeks before its release. Definitely will be watching it.

Planes: Kasey went to see this with his grandmother when I went to see Elysium and the both said it was pretty enjoyable. Will most likely look into it with him.

2 Guns: Wahlberg and Washington - yeah I was always going to look in on this one. Sometimes, just have to wait until its release on DVD.

The World's End: I have not seen any of Simon Pegg's films besides Star Trek, Mission Impossible and Ice Age. But, that is going to be changing. I will check this one out and have since added Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz to my Netflix queue.

Paranoia: Thor's brother stars in this one with Han Solo and Commissioner Gordon. Looked like it might be pretty good - but wasn't exactly popular with the critics. Won't stop me, though, I will check it out.

To Do List: Not sure what it is, but there is definitely something I enjoy about Aubrey Plaza. And, this looks like a pretty raunchy, teenage comedy. Definitely a watch.

Crystal Fairy: Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffman in search of an elusive hallucinogen in the desert. Dob't know a ton about it, but as of now might be a skip for me.

C.O.G.: A man travels to Oregon and works on an apple farm. Yup, staying away from this one.

All is Bright: A guy out on parole wants to make good with his estranged daughter and buy her a piano - so he joins up with an old friend to sell Christmas trees. Probably wouldn't give it a second thought, except it stars Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti. So, I'm curious.

And While We Were Here: A married woman, while on an island, has an affair with a younger woman. Not for me.

Violet & Daisy: Two female friends become teenage assassins. Again, not much, but the stars have me curious. I might check it out.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/12/13

Man of Steel: I never got into the Christopher Reeves version of Superman, so technically this is my first real experience with him - and I liked it. See review here. Looking forward to checking it out again - and for the next films in the series.

Turbo: Saw this along time ago in the theater and just finally wrote my review. This was a surprise for me - not a spectacular film, but much better than I thought it was going to be.

Prince Avalanche: I saw the trailer for this film, and I like both of the stars, however I just didn't see the draw to the film itself. I might actually check it out, though, eventually. It got some pretty decent reviews.

Paradise: A conservative woman renounces her faith after she is severely burned in an accident. She sets out to experience the world. Don't think I will look into this one.

Ambushed: Dolph Lundgren stars - yeah you read that right. I liked him in the Expendables films, but not sure I want to watch a full film with him in the starring role.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/5/13

Grown Ups 2: I know Adam Sandler gets a lot of hate, and honestly he did not come across as a great guy in the original Grown Ups, but I actually liked the first film. And, so did my son. I am not sure if the second can be as good - they usually aren't - but I definitely want to give it a shot.

White House Down: This is the second White House film to be released - the first was Olympus Has Fallen - and I have not seen either yet. I will definitely be watching both at some point - looking forward to seeing which is better.

Girl Most Likely: Kristen Wiig did a pretty decent movie awhile back called Bridesmaids. But, the last few films I have seen from her being released on DVD, I had never once heard of being in the movie theater. What is up with that? Bad selections by her?

Parkland: The day that John F. Kennedy was shot. Not sure if I will check this one out - it's been told so many times.

Lovelace: The story of Linda Lovelace, the porn star mostly known for her work on Deep Throat. Will probably check this one out at some point.

Syrup: A guy gets a million-dollar idea and he must learn to trust his female counterpart to help see his idea through. Maybe on cable.

Fitzgerald Family Christmas: Now adults, the children of the Fitzgerald family await for the return of their father, who walked out on them 20 years ago. I will probably check this out.

As I Lay Dying: Story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family trying to honor her wish to be buried in a neighboring town.

Passion: A manipulating boss and her protege have a large rivalry that goes way too far.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Theater Review: Turbo

I am so far behind on my reviews again. I had to at least sit down and get this theater review out - especially since the film is dropping on DVD next week.

Anyway, I definitely was not expecting anything when I went to see Turbo. My parents came up to visit and took my son to see it - and I tagged along.

But, I really came away surprised - I really enjoyed it.

Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a snail that has the need for speed. He stays up at night watching videos of his favorite race car driver, Guy Gagne (Bill Hader) and dreaming of being a racer himself. For a snail, he might actually be one of the faster ones - but he is still a snail.

During the day, he works in a tomato garden with a lot of other snails, including his brother Chet (Paul Giamatti), who is sort of in charge of the garden crew. On his breaks, instead of eating, Turbo pretends to be fast - and it is beginning to wear on his brother, who wants him to grow up.

Turbo leaves the tomato garden for a walk one night and wishes on a 'star' to be fast, and he gets sucked up into a super charged car - and he gets soaked in nitrous oxide that gets sucked into his DNA. And, you guessed it - Turbo becomes super fast.

So, he goes to show off for the garden crew - and manages to crush most of the garden, which gets himself and his brother fired. As they fought, Chet is scooped up by a crow - and Turbo heads off to rescue him.

Both of them are soon picked up by Tito (Michael Pena) and taken back to a forgotten strip mall where he works with his brother Angelo (Luis Guzman) at a taco stand. Tito likes to race snails, and uses some souped up shells to make the snails faster - however, everyone is blown away but what Turbo can do.

Tito soon comes up with an idea to rescue the taco stand - and the strip mall. He decides to enter Turbo in a race with actual race cars - including racing against his ideal Gagne.

As I said, I went into this not really expecting much - but I found myself pretty entertained. No, it isn't the greatest animated film, heck it probably isn't even the best of the year. But, I was definitely entertained throughout, so it gets my vote of approval.

The interaction between the brothers, both Tito and Angelo, and Chet and Turbo is pretty good. The strip mall crew: Paz (Michelle Rodriguez), Bobby (Richard Jenkins) and Kim-Ly (Ken Jeong) were also pretty fun to watch. Then there were the other snails that get raced: Whiplash (Samuel L. Jackson), Burn (Maya Rudolph), Smoove Move (Snoop Dogg), Skidmark (Ben Schwartz) and White Shadow (Michael Bell) - a lot of laughs during their scenes.

Again, not breaking new ground here with this film - but for a film that I really didn't even think about seeing, I really enjoyed it.